Tapestry

Mission to Seafarers helps sailors feel at home

Think you have a tough commute to work? Spare a thought for the merchant marines - seafarers who go to work in the world's shipping lanes. They're away from home for months at a time. It's a tough life, but the Mission to Seafarers is there to help...
A life preserver makes the perfect welcome wreath for the Mission to Seafarers: Hamilton. Its doors are always open to sailors from around the world who find themselves in port.
Listen15:54

Think you have a tough commute to work?  Spare a thought for the merchant marines - seafarers who go to work in the world's shipping lanes. They're away from home for months at a time.

That's where the Missions to Seafarers come in. Their doors are open to merchant marines from around the world who have newly arrived in port.The missions are welcome places to have a cup of tea, check the Internet, and find a helping hand and a listening ear. The people who work at seafarers' missions help sailors to feel at home when they're thousands of miles away from their families.

The Reverend Judith Alltree is the executive director of the Mission to Seafarers: Southern Ontario. Our CBC Radio colleague Jeff Goodes went down to Hamilton Harbour with her and they boarded the Federal Margaree. It's a Canadian freighter loaded with steel from Europe. Its crew came from India and at its helm was Captain Aloo Gupta. 

Over lunch, Jeff spoke with the Rev. Judith  Alltree and Captain Aloo Gupta about what it's like for the crews to be separated from their families for such long stretches of time and the role of the seafarers' missions in their lives.

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